The beginning of a new year offers a fresh start.  On the COVID-19 front, the challenge for 2021 will be getting life-saving vaccines into the arms of Irvine residents.  So far, Orange County and Irvine are off to a slow start.  But we look for City Council leadership in the weeks ahead to dramatically accelerate vaccinations in Irvine.

2021 promises to be the year that construction begins — by this Spring — for our long-promised Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery on the originally-approved 125-acre “ARDA” site at the Great Park.

Irvine Community News & Views has not only reported extensively on the project, we have helped to fund efforts by the all-volunteer “Build the Great Park Veterans Cemetery” committee to make sure the will of the people is implemented.

Irvine residents have repeatedly expressed their support for the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the ARDA site through years of impassioned testimony at City Council meetings; through a Referendum and vote of the people; and through a successful Initiative campaign that made the Veterans Cemetery at the ARDA site the binding law of the City.

Up to now, residents have been ignored by a Council majority whose political campaigns were financially supported by a developer that wants the City-owned ARDA site for their own massive commercial projects.

But this year we have a new Mayor and City Council … and a new chance to finally implement the will of the people!

During the 2020 City election, our paper endorsed Mayor Farrah Khan, Vice Mayor Tammy Kim, and Councilmember Larry Agran.  Those endorsements were based on the expressed support from Khan, Kim and Agran to move forward with construction at the ARDA site.  And through their May 12, 2020 Council vote to adopt the Initiative to rezone the ARDA site exclusively for a Veterans Cemetery, Councilmembers Mike Carroll and Anthony Kuo are on record as also supporting the project.

Our continued commitment to our readers — and all Irvine residents — is to make sure that your voices are heard and your votes are respected!

Irvine Community News & Views wishes our readers a happy, healthy 2021!

Frank Lunding